We recently spent a week in Kent with the family, and decided to take the plunge and get back into the swing of things with an escape room. The industry has been hit hard by the outbreak (as expected), so we felt it was important to get back out there and supporting them! We’ve visited ‘Escape Kent’ before, and seen them grow from having only 2 rooms to now operating out of 3 buildings! For this reason we decided to continue our support, knowing the level of room design is high, and seeing how transparent they’ve been with their COVID-19 prevention. In case you were worried, we felt safe and sanitary the entire time – there is plenty of hand sanitiser, separate briefing areas so you’re never close to another team, masks are required outside rooms, and the rooms had a definite ‘sticky’, freshly sanitised feel!
Going into this room we were told it was essentially just puzzles, and it that sense is very marmite. For me, I loved it – as you can see from the photo it was an entirely white room, focused just on finding and solving puzzles. However, if you’re someone who relishes the set and story just as much as puzzles…this may not be the room for you.
That being said, as simple as the set appears, it was beautifully done and even had some surprised in store! It felt extremely high quality, and just goes to prove that looks can be deceptive.
As mentioned, this room is all about puzzles. Going in, you are told there are a number of codes for you to find, requiring you to find and solve puzzles. That’s it. However, that’s harder than you may think!
There were a reasonable amount of puzzles to complete, with a fantastic variety of puzzles and techniques. Even puzzles I thought I’d seen before incorporated a little twist, and required a little extra brain power to work out. In fact, pretty much every puzzle appeared easy at first before you looked a little closer and realised what was required – a good metaphor for the room itself!
In line with the room, the hint system was all done via a monitor, although we didn’t use it! This is generally my favourite system, as it’s easy to understand, offers more flexibility for both the players and GM, and is hard to miss! It also felt very in-line with the room (which isn’t always the case, I admit). Finally, on the hint front, before we went in the GM asked us how we’d like our hints – straight off, little nudges, or waiting for us to ask. I appreciated this consideration, and shows that this company is great for newbies and enthusiasts alike.
The game itself flowed nicely – there were times we were forced to work together, and other times when we were able to split off and tick off some tasks individually. We never felt stuck for things to do, or confused about what we should be doing. It also didn’t feel like too much – I never felt paniced or overwhelmed by too many things going on, which I think is credit to good game design!
This room was up a narrow set of stairs, with no where to sit inside, so not accessible to anyone with mobility issues. There is some colour perception required, although possible to complete without (just a little harder). There were no auditory requirements (besides from hearing if there was a hint on screen).
The room itself is very open and empty, so should cause no issues in terms of claustrophobia or overheating. It’s well lit, and although there was a fun soundtrack it wasn’t an essential part of the room, and could be turned down/off.
Outside the room
This room takes place in one of the additional buildings ‘Escape Kent’ has taken over. This means the waiting/briefing room is very basic, with no amenities in the building itself. However, it does feature lockers if you wanted to make use of them. The main building features a rather nice waiting area, briefing room, toilets and (I believe) basic refreshments.
The staff are all top notch. I was able to geek out about escape rooms and how this was my first in 6 months, and have a great chat about their upcoming plans.
The only downside to ‘Escape Kent’ is the location – on your classic industrial estate. It’s a short walk from Canterbury East station, but will take you a little while from Canterbury town centre. However, it is well worth it!
Was it worth the money?
We paid £25 each, so £50 for the two of us. It was definitely worth it, and I’d gladly pay the same to play any of their rooms! However, I don’t think I would want to do this room with anymore than 4 players. If there are more of you, consider booking both ‘Vicé Versa’ and going head to head!
Pros; Puzzles, set design, staff
Cons; Location (unavoidable)